The Official Rules of Ultimate 11th Edition describes how the game is played. It is assumed that no player will intentionally violate the rules; thus there are no harsh penalties for inadvertent infractions, but rather a method for resuming play in a manner that simulates what most likely would have occurred absent the infraction. In Ultimate, an intentional infraction is considered cheating and a gross offense against the spirit of sportsmanship. Often a player is in a position to gain an advantage by committing an infraction, but that player is morally bound to abide by the rules. The integrity of Ultimate depends on each player's responsibility to uphold the Spirit of the Game™, and this responsibility should remain paramount.
Description: Ultimate is a non-contact disc sport played by two teams of seven players. The object of the game is to score goals. A goal is scored when a player catches any legal pass in the end zone that player is attacking. A player may not run while holding the disc. The disc is advanced by passing it to other players. The disc may be passed in any direction. Any time a pass is incomplete, a turnover occurs, resulting in an immediate change of the team in possession of the disc.
Spirit of the Game: Ultimate relies upon a spirit of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of mutual respect among competitors, adherence to the agreed upon rules, or the basic joy of play. Protection of these vital elements serves to eliminate unsportsmanlike conduct from the Ultimate field. Such actions as taunting opposing players, dangerous aggression, belligerent intimidation, intentional infractions, or other win-at-all-costs behavior are contrary to the spirit of the game and must be avoided by all players.
Captain's Clause: A game may be played under any variation of the rules agreed upon by the captains of the teams involved. In tournament play, variations are subject to approval by the event organizer. Such things as game length, field dimensions, number of players and stall count can easily be altered to suit the level of play. Before a game starts, each team designates one captain to represent them in disagreements and arbitration.
Event Organizer: The event organizer may modify rules relating to game logistics in order to suit the event. Examples include game length (game total), upper score limits (caps), time of game limits (time caps), halftime length, number of time-outs, starting time point assessments, uniform requirements and observer operations. Any such change must be established before competition starts.
General vs. Specific Rules: Many of these rules are general in nature and cover most situations. However, some rules cover specific situations and override the general case.
Best perspective: The most complete view available by a player that includes the relative positions of the disc, ground, players, and line markers involved in a play. On an unlined field, this may require sighting from one field marker to another.
Completed pass: Any catch that results in the team in possession of the disc retaining possession. Any pass that is not complete is incomplete.
Defensive player: A player whose team is not in possession of the disc. A defensive player may not pick up a live disc or a disc in play or call for a pass from the thrower.
Event organizer: The person(s) or entity organizing a competition, whether it is a tournament, tournament series, league, single game, or other type of event.
Foul: Non-Incidental contact: contact between opposing players (see II.H for a definition of incidental contact). In general, the player initiating the contact has committed the foul.
Ground contact: All player contact with the ground directly related to a specific event or maneuver (e.g., jumping, diving, leaning or falling), including landing or recovering after being off-balance. Items on the ground are considered part of the ground.
Guarding: A defender is guarding an offensive player when they are within three meters of that offensive player and are reacting to that offensive player.
A defender who turns away from an offensive player and begins focusing on and reacting to the thrower is no longer guarding that offensive player.
Incidental contact: Contact between opposing players that does not affect continued play.
For example, contact affects continued play if the contact knocks a player off-balance and interferes with his ability to continue cutting or playing defense.
Legal position: A position established by a marker that does not violate any of the provisions outlined in XIV.B.
This refers to legal marking position. In general, this means there is sufficient space between the marker and the thrower’s torso, the marker is not straddling the pivot, and the marker’s arms are not "wrapping" the thrower.
Line: A boundary defining the playing areas. On an unlined field, the boundary is an imaginary line segment between two field markers with the thickness of said markers. Line segments are not extrapolated beyond the defining markers.
Marker: The defensive player within three meters of the thrower's pivot or of the thrower if no pivot has been established. If the disc is not in play, a defensive player within three meters of a spot on the field where the disc is to be put into play is considered the marker.
Offensive player: A player whose team is in possession of the disc.
Pivot: The particular part of the body in continuous contact with a single spot on the field during a thrower's possession once the thrower has come to a stop or has attempted a throw or fake. When there is a definitive spot for putting the disc into play, the part of the body in contact with that spot is the pivot.
This is not a body part, but rather an infinitesimally small point on the body.
Player: Any of the up to fourteen persons participating in the game at any one time.
Possession of the disc: Sustained contact with, and control of, a non-spinning disc.
Catching a pass is equivalent to establishing possession of that pass.
Loss of possession due to ground contact related to a catch negates that player's possession up to that point.
If the disc touches the ground while in a player’s possession and the player subsequently loses possession due to ground contact, the earlier possession is negated and the previous contact of the disc with the ground results in a turnover.
A disc in a player's possession is considered part of that player.
Thus, hitting the disc in a player’s possession is a foul
The team whose player is in possession, or whose players may pick up the disc, is considered the team in possession. If the disc is in the air following a legal pass, the thrower's team is considered the team in possession.
Pull: The throw from one team to the other that starts play at the beginning of a half or after a goal. It is not a legal pass for scoring and has many special provisions (Section VIII.B). The player on the pulling team who possesses the disc and signals readiness is the puller.
The pulling team may designate a new puller at any time before the pull.
Scoring attempt: A scoring attempt starts at the beginning of the game or when the previous goal is scored and ends when the next goal is scored.
State of the disc: The nature of play at a particular moment during the game. There are three states of the disc:
A disc is in play when play may proceed without the defense's acknowledgment. An in-bounds disc on the playing field is in play. The disc is subject to a turnover. To put the disc into play at a particular spot on the field means to establish a pivot at that spot.
A disc is live when players are allowed to move and the disc is subject to a turnover, but the thrower cannot make a legal pass (e.g., walking the disc to the spot where it is to be put into play). For a live disc to be put into play, the thrower must establish a pivot at the appropriate spot on the field, touch the disc to the ground, and put the disc into play.
A disc is dead when play has stopped and can continue only with a check. The disc is not subject to a turnover.
Stoppage of play: Any halting of play due to a call, discussion, or time-out that requires a check or self-check to restart play. The term play stops means a stoppage of play occurs.
Play-halting calls include "foul", "violation", "travel," "pick," "stall", etc.
Throw: A disc in flight following any throwing motion (including a fake) that results in the thrower losing contact with the disc.
Generally, a non-spinning, falling disc is not "in flight" unless it is intentionally dropped.
A pass is equivalent to a throw.
An intentionally dropped disc is considered a thrown disc.
The act of throwing is the motion that transfers momentum from the thrower to the disc in the direction of flight and results in a throw. Pivots and wind-ups are not part of the act of throwing.
A throw is only considered complete when an offensive player gains possession that is not otherwise negated.
An offensive player in possession of, or who has most recently possessed, the disc, is the thrower.
Violation: Any infraction of the rules other than a foul.
The standard field of play is a rectangular area with dimensions as shown on the accompanying diagram (see Appendix 1).
The playing field proper is the playing field excluding the end zones.
This is the 70 by 40 yard box.
The goal lines separate the playing field proper from the end zones and are part of the playing field proper.
The playing field and surrounds should be essentially flat, free of obstructions and afford reasonable player safety. Well trimmed grass is the recommended surface and all lines should be marked.
The corners of the playing field proper and the end zones are marked by brightly colored, flexible cones.
It is recommended that additional lines are established at three and five meters from the perimeter lines surrounding the playing field.
Spectators and gear should remain behind the five-meter line to keep the perimeter safe and clear during play.
Competitors and coaches should remain behind the three-meter line to allow play adjacent to the playing field.
If play is obstructed by competitors, coaches, spectators or objects within five meters of the playing field, any obstructed player or thrower in possession may call this violation. Play resumes at the stall count reached plus one, or 9 if over 8.
Any disc acceptable to both team captains may be used. If they cannot agree, the current Official Disc of the Ultimate Players Association is used.
Players may wear any soft clothing that does not endanger the safety of other players or provide unfair advantage.
Cleats with dangerous parts, such as metallic baseball cleats, track spikes, or worn or broken studs with sharp edges, are not allowed.
Each player must wear a uniform or other clothing distinguishing that player from players on the other team. In tournament play, matching uniforms and numbered jerseys are recommended.
Players may not use clothing or equipment to unfairly inhibit or assist the movement of the disc or another player.
Length of Game
Game to goals: A game is played until one team first reaches or exceeds the game total, with a margin of at least two goals or until a cap is reached.
The game total is the pre-determined number of goals required to win the game. In a "game to 15," the game total is 15.
Caps are maximum score limits imposed before or during a game to limit the time required to declare a winner. The game ends when one team's score first reaches the cap.
A point cap is a maximum score limit imposed before the event.
A soft time cap is a maximum score limit imposed during a game once a predetermined time of play has elapsed and after the current scoring attempt is completed.
A hard time cap is the ending of the game once a predetermined time of play has elapsed and after the current scoring attempt is completed. If the score is tied, play continues until one additional goal is scored.
The team with the most goals at the end of the game is the winner.
A standard game has a game total of 15, with a point cap of 17.
Halftime begins when one team's score first reaches or exceeds half of the game total, and lasts ten minutes.
Overtime begins when the score is tied at one goal less than the game total (e.g., in a game with a game total of 15 goals, overtime begins when the score reaches 14-14).
Overtime begins based on the predetermined game total and is unaffected by time caps. If a time cap applies and makes it a "game to 14," then when the score reaches 13-13, it will not be overtime.
A time-out stops play and suspends time limit counts.
Team Time-out: Each team has two team time-outs per half in a standard game.
Each team has exactly one team time-out in overtime, regardless of whether any time-outs remain from regulation.
A team time-out lasts 70 seconds.
Any player may call a time-out after a goal is scored and before both teams have signaled readiness to start play. Time limit counts between points are suspended for 70 seconds. A time-out may not be called between a re-pull call and the ensuing pull.
After the pull, only a thrower with possession of the disc that has survived ground contact can call a time-out. The player must form a T with one hand and the disc, and should audibly say time-out. The time-out begins when the T is formed. The disc is then placed on the ground at the pivot spot.
Restarting play after a time-out called by a thrower:
All players at the time of the time-out call must return to play unless an injury time-out also is called.
Each offensive player must establish a stationary position by the end of the time-out. Movement after this time and before the disc is checked into play is a violation. The defense has ninety seconds after the beginning of the time-out or up to twenty seconds after all offensive players have established their position (whichever is longer) to check the disc into play.
The player who had possession of the disc when the team time-out was called restarts play with a check at the pivot spot, and the marker resumes the stall count with the word stalling followed by the last number uttered before the time-out plus one or 9 if over 8, however XIV.A.4 applies.
If the time limits for the time-out are exceeded by one team, a player on the other team may announce delay of game and the player at the location the disc is to be put into play may self-check the disc into play without acknowledgment by the opposing team. In order to invoke this rule a player must give warnings of 20, 10, and 5 seconds.
If the disc is live or in play and the thrower attempts to call a time-out when the team in possession has no time-outs remaining, it is a turnover and play stops.
Injury Time-out: A time-out called for a player injury. During an injury time-out, the health and safety of the injured player are of primary concern.
Any player on the injured player's team may call an injury time-out.
The time-out is retroactive to the time of the injury, unless the injured player chooses to continue play before the time-out is called, in which case, the time-out begins at the time of the call. If the disc is in the air or the thrower is in the act of throwing at the time of the injury or of the call when the player has continued play, the time-out begins when the play is completed.
Restarting play after an injury time-out:
If a player in possession leaves the field following an injury, the replacing player takes possession.
Play restarts at the appropriate spot with a check and the marker resumes any stall count with the word stalling followed by the last number uttered before the injury time-out started plus one or 9 if over 8. If the thrower is substituted or if the marker is injured and substituted, a new marker may resume the stall count of the original marker when play is restarted.
All players must resume their locations on the field at the time the injury time-out began (i.e., players may not set up), unless a team time-out is also called.
If the injured player does not leave the game after an injury time-out, that player's team is charged with a team time-out unless the injury was caused by an opposing player. If the team being charged with the time-out is also the team in possession and has no time-outs remaining, it is a turnover.
If an injury time-out is called during a team time-out, the opposing team must be notified as soon as the injury is discovered (VII.A.2).
If an injury time-out is called between points, all time limits are suspended until the injured player is removed from the field.
Any player may call an injury time-out for a player who is bleeding or has an exposed open wound.
This time-out takes effect when the call is made (i.e., is not retroactive to the time of injury). If the disc is in the air or the thrower is in the act of throwing at the time of the call, the time-out begins when the play is completed.
The injured player must leave the game
immediately if so requested by an opposing captain; or
at the end of the current scoring attempt if no such request is made.
The injured player may return in accordance with VII only after the affected area is effectively covered.
Technical Time-out: A technical time-out may be called for illegal equipment, a dangerous condition, or a broken disc.
Any player recognizing a condition that endangers other players may call a technical time-out during play. The thrower may call a technical time-out during play to replace a cracked, torn, deeply gouged, creased, or punctured disc; a warped, wet or dirty disc does not qualify. The time-out begins at the time of the call. If the disc is in the air or the act of throwing at the time of the call, the time-out begins when the play is completed.
Any player may briefly extend a stoppage of play to correct faulty equipment (e.g., to tie shoelaces or straighten a disc), but active play may not be stopped for this purpose. (Note: Play does not stop during a turnover even if the disc is out-of-bounds.)
A player unable to correct illegal equipment in a timely manner must be substituted in accordance with VII.A.2.
Restarting play after a technical time-out:
The thrower restarts play at the appropriate spot with a check and the marker resumes any stall count as follows:
If the technical time-out was called during a stoppage of play, the count resumes at the appropriate count for the event that stopped play.
If the technical time-out stopped play, the count resumes according to XIV.A.5. For this purpose, the team charged with the technical time-out is:
whichever team has the illegal equipment;
the offense in the case of a damaged disc; or
the defense for a dangerous condition not assignable to either team.
If a player in possession leaves the field due to illegal equipment, the replacing player puts the disc into play. If the thrower is substituted or if the marker has illegal equipment and is substituted, a new marker may resume the stall count of the original marker when play is restarted.
All players must resume their locations on the field at the time the time-out began (i.e., players may not set up), unless a team time-out is also called.
Player substitutions can be completed only:
after a goal and before the substituting team has signaled readiness; or
to replace injured players, or players with illegal equipment. In this case, the opposing team may substitute a like number of, or fewer, players.
Substitutions are not permitted following a re-pull call, unless in accordance with VII.A.2.
Starting and Restarting Play
Start of the game:
Representatives of the two teams fairly determine which team chooses to
receive or throw the initial pull; or
which end zone they wish to initially defend.
The other team gets the remaining choice.
The second half begins with a reversal of the initial choices.
If only one team fails to signal readiness for the start of a scheduled game, the opposing team may be awarded goals by the event organizer at a rate of one goal for every five minutes elapsed after the posted start time.
Play starts at the beginning of each half and after each goal with a pull.
After a goal, the teams switch their direction of attack and the scoring team pulls.
The pull may be made only after the puller and a player on the receiving team both raise their hands to signal their team's readiness to begin play. A team must have a minimum of two players and a maximum of seven players on the field in order to signal readiness. The pull occurs when the puller throws (II.T) the disc after signaling readiness.
Positioning before the pull:
After signaling readiness, players on the pulling team may move anywhere in their end zone, but their feet may not cross the vertical plane of the goal line until the disc is released.
After signaling readiness, players on the receiving team must be in contact with the goal line that they are defending without changing location relative to one another.
After the disc is released, it is in play and any player may move in any direction.
If either team fails to maintain proper positioning before the pull, the other team may audibly announce off-sides and a re-pull ensues. The call must be made before any player on the receiving team touches the disc.
In games where Observers are used, the Observers may monitor and call offsides as appropriate. The first instance of offsides for each team will result in a warning and a re-pull. After a team has received its warning, any further instances of offsides are treated as follows:
receiving team offsides: receiving team starts with the disc at the midpoint of the end zone they are defending, after players set up and a check is performed.
pulling team offsides: receiving team starts with the disc at midfield, after players set up and a check is performed.
A player on the throwing team may not touch the pull in the air before a member of the receiving team touches it. If this violation occurs, the receiving team may request a re-pull immediately.
If the pull hits the ground or an out-of-bounds area untouched, it is put into play as follows:
If the disc initially hits and remains in-bounds, it is put into play where it comes to rest or is stopped (XVI.E).
If the disc initially hits in-bounds and then becomes out-of-bounds before being touched by the receiving team, it is put into play at the spot on the playing field proper (i.e., excluding the end zones) nearest to where it first crossed the perimeter line to become out-of-bounds.
If the disc initially hits in-bounds and then becomes out-of-bounds after being touched by the receiving team, it is put into play at the spot on the playing field nearest to where it first crossed the perimeter line to become out-of-bounds.
If the disc initially hits an out-of-bounds area, the receiving team may put the disc into play:
at the spot determined by IX.H; or
after signaling for a brick or middle by fully extending one hand overhead and calling brick or middle before gaining possession of the disc, either at
the brick mark closest to the end zone that the receiving team is defending if brick was called, or
the spot on the long axis of the playing field proper nearest to the spot determined by IX.H if middle was called.
If the pull is caught, the disc is put into play at the spot on the playing field nearest to where it was caught.
If a player on the receiving team touches the pull before it hits the ground and the disc then hits the ground, it is considered a dropped disc (XII.B) and results in a turnover.
After a pull, whichever player takes possession of the disc must put it into play. If a player drops the disc while carrying it to the spot where it is to be put into play and it contacts the ground before the thrower regains possession, the other team gains possession of the disc at the spot on the playing field proper nearest to the drop.
There is no stoppage of play when putting the pull into play. If the disc is to be put into play at a location other than where possession was gained, the thrower starts play by touching the disc to the ground after establishing a pivot at the spot on the playing field where the disc is to be put into play.
Time between pulls:
The receiving team must signal readiness to play within seventy seconds after the previous goal was scored.
The pulling team must release the pull before the later to occur of:
ninety seconds after the previous goal was scored; or
twenty seconds after the receiving team signaled readiness.
On a re-pull,
the receiving team must signal readiness to play within twenty seconds after the call for a re-pull was made; and
the pulling team must release the pull before the later to occur of:
forty seconds after the call for a re-pull was made; or
twenty seconds after the receiving team signaled readiness.
In games where Observers are used, the Observers may monitor and call time violations as appropriate. The first instance of a time violation for each team will result in a warning. After a team has received its warning, any further time violations will result in assessment of a team time-out (and the resulting time extensions). If a team has no time-outs remaining, time violations are treated as follows:
time violation on receiving team: the receiving team starts with the disc at the midpoint of the end zone they are defending, after players set up and a check is performed.
time violation on pulling team: the receiving team starts with the disc at midfield, after players set up and a check is performed.
When play stops, each player must come to a stop as quickly as possible. Before restarting play, all players must assume the location on the field specified by the rule that covers that specific stoppage of play and remain there until play is restarted.
If a called infraction occurs while play is stopped, any subsequent play is negated and players must assume their appropriate locations under VIII.D.1.
Thus any pass attempted will be returned to the thrower.
When the situation is resolved, the player determined to be in possession offers the disc to the marker for a check.
The marker restarts play by touching the disc in the thrower's possession. If the thrower attempts a pass before the marker checks the disc, the pass (whether complete or incomplete) does not count and the thrower regains possession.
Any stall count in effect resumes according to XIV.A.5.
Offensive Self-check: If play is to restart with a check, but no defensive player is near enough to touch the disc in the thrower's hand, play restarts with an offensive self-check. To restart play using an offensive self-check:
Determine this distance based on the thrower standing upright and extending the disc toward the marker.
the defense must acknowledge readiness; and
the thrower establishes a pivot at the appropriate spot on the field, touches the disc to the ground and loudly announces in play.
Defensive self-check: If play is to restart with a check, but no offensive player is in possession of the disc at the appropriate spot, play restarts with a defensive self-check. To restart play using a defensive self-check:
the disc is placed at the appropriate spot on the field;
the offense must acknowledge readiness; and
the defender closest to the disc loudly announces in play.
In- and Out-of-bounds
The entire playing field is in-bounds. The perimeter lines are not part of the playing field and are out-of-bounds.
The out-of-bounds area consists of the ground which is not in-bounds and everything in contact (direct or indirect) with it except for players. Any non-players other than observers are considered part of the out-of-bounds area.
A player contacting the out-of-bounds area is out-of-bounds. A player who is not out-of-bounds is in-bounds. An airborne player retains in-bounds or out-of-bounds status until that player contacts the playing field or the out-of-bounds area. The following exceptions apply:
If momentum carries a player out-of-bounds after landing in-bounds with possession of an in-bounds disc, the player is considered in-bounds. For this exception to apply, that player's first point of ground contact with any area must be completely in-bounds. The disc is put into play at the spot on the perimeter line of the playing field where the player first went out-of-bounds (unless X.A.2 applies). If the player traversed the end zone being attacked, XI.B applies.
A pivoting thrower may contact an out-of-bounds area, provided that part of the pivot remains in contact with the playing field.
In this case, the player and the disc are considered in-bounds.
Contact between players does not confer the state of being in- or out-of-bounds from one to another.
A disc becomes in-bounds when it is put into play, or when play starts or restarts.
A disc becomes out-of-bounds when it first contacts the out-of-bounds area, contacts an out-of-bounds offensive player, or is caught by an out-of-bounds defensive player.
The disc may fly outside a perimeter line and return to the playing field, and players may go out-of-bounds to make a play on the disc.
If an in-bounds defender gains possession while airborne and becomes out-of-bounds while still in possession of the disc, the play is treated as if the defender was out-of-bounds when possession was gained (IX.E).
To continue play after the disc becomes out-of-bounds, a member of the team gaining possession of the disc must carry it to, and put it into play at, the spot on the playing field proper nearest to where the most recent of the following events occurred:
the disc completely crossed the perimeter line;
the disc contacted an in-bounds player;
the disc contacted a defensive player; or
the disc became out-of-bounds due to contact with the out-of-bounds area or a player while any part of the disc was inside the perimeter line.
After establishing a pivot at the appropriate spot on the field, the thrower must touch the disc to the ground before putting it into play (XIII.B).
Events occurring after the disc becomes out-of-bounds do not affect where it is put into play.
End Zone Possession
If a turnover results in a team gaining possession in the end zone that they are defending, the player in possession must immediately either:
put the disc into play at the spot of the disc (to fake a throw or pause after gaining possession commits the player to put the disc into play at that spot); or
Carry the disc directly to the closest point on the goal line and put it into play at that spot. If this option is chosen, the player taking possession must put the disc into play at the goal line. Failure to do so is a travel .
The player may carry the disc at any speed, constant or variable, while not unreasonably delaying.The player must put the disc into play either at the spot of the disc or on the goal line, not inbetween.
If a team gains or retains possession in the end zone that they are attacking other than by scoring a goal in accordance with rule XI, the player in possession must carry the disc directly to, and put it into play at, the spot on the goal line closest to where possession was gained.
If a team gains or retains possession of a dead disc in the end zone that they are attacking, the disc is checked into a live state where the infraction occurred, and the thrower then proceeds according to X.B.
For example, after an uncontested receiving foul.
A goal is scored when an in-bounds player catches any legal pass in the end zone of attack, and retains possession of the disc throughout all ground contact related to the catch.
To be considered in the end zone after gaining possession of the disc in accordance with II.O.2 and XV.E, the player's first point of ground contact must be completely in the end zone.
If a player clearly lands on his toes first and then continue down onto his heels, his toes are the first point of ground contact. If a player lands fairly flat-footed and it is not possible to determine which part of the foot contacted the ground first, the entire foot is the first point of ground contact.Remember, the end zone line is not part of the end zone.
When an in-bounds player in possession of the disc whose first ground contact will be completely within the end zone loses possession of the disc due to an uncontested foul, or lands out of the end zone due to an uncontested force-out foul (XVI.H.3.b.4), that player is awarded a goal.
If after receiving a pass outside the end zone, a player comes to a stop contacting the end zone, that player must carry the disc back to, and put it into play at, the closest spot on the goal line.
If a player scores according to XI.A, but then unknowingly throws another pass, a goal is awarded to that player, regardless of the outcome of the pass. However, if it is unclear if the player scored according to XI.A (i.e., there is no agreement on the player who had best perspective, and there are opposing view points on the play), the result of the pass stands.
The act of scoring a goal is subject to rule II.O.2.
If a pass is incomplete or if the disc becomes out-of-bounds other than as a result of a pull, a turnover results.
If the thrower accidentally drops a live disc or a disc in play without defensive interference and it contacts the ground before the thrower regains possession, it is considered an incomplete pass. If the thrower regains possession of an accidentally dropped disc before it contacts the ground without another player touching the disc, that possession is considered continuous . If the thrower regains possession of an accidentally dropped disc before it contacts the ground and after another player touches it, it is considered a new possession.
An accidentally dropped (falling, non-spinning) disc is not considered in flight. An accidentally released, spinning flying disc is a throw, not a dropped disc, and results in a turnover if the thrower regains possession of the disc without another player touching the disc.And the stall count continues uninterrupted.
A pass is intercepted if a defensive player obtains possession of the disc, but if the defender accidentally loses possession of the disc before or during ground contact related to the catch, the pass is considered blocked rather than intercepted .
i.e., this is not a "double-turnover" – the defender’s team still gains possession.
The following actions result in a turnover and a stoppage of play:
The marker's count reaches the maximum number before the throw is released (XIV.A.3).
The maximum number is 10.
The thrower hands the disc to another player.
The thrower catches a legally thrown disc. However, it is not a turnover if another player touches the disc during its flight unless the thrower intentionally deflected the disc off another player.
The thrower calls a team time-out when none remains while the disc is live or in play.
An offensive player intentionally assists a teammate's movement to catch a pass . If a defender assists a teammate's movement to block or intercept a pass, the intended receiver is awarded possession.
The official interpretation of this rule is that a player is prohibited from intentionally pushing off of a teammate to jump higher.
An offensive player uses an item of equipment to assist in catching a pass (e.g., throwing a hat or shirt at the disc). If a defender uses an item of equipment to assist in blocking or intercepting a pass, the intended receiver is awarded possession.
Tacky gloves are legal and do not result in a turnover under this rule.
If the disc is on the ground, whether in- or out-of-bounds, any member of the team becoming offense may take possession of it.
If an offensive player picks up the disc, that player must put it into play.
If possession is gained at the spot where the disc is to be put into play, the thrower must establish a pivot at the spot of the disc.
The thrower should pick up the disc and place the pivot at the spot of the disc.
If the disc comes to rest on the playing field proper , a member of the team becoming offense must put the disc into play within ten seconds after it comes to rest. After ten seconds elapse, a defensive player within three meters of the disc may announce disc in, and then initiate and continue the stall count, but only if a defensive player has given audible warnings of ten and five seconds (the pre-stall).
The 70 x 40 yard box
If the disc comes to rest other than on the playing field proper, a member of the team becoming offense must put the disc into play within twenty seconds after it comes to rest.
If the disc is not reasonably retrievable within twenty seconds (e.g., far out-of-bounds or through a crowd), the player retrieving it may request another disc and any delay or pre-stall count is suspended until the offensive player receives the new disc.
If the disc is in the end zone, after twenty seconds elapse, a defensive player within three meters of the disc may announce disc in, and then initiate and continue the stall count, but only if a defensive player has given audible warnings of twenty, ten and five seconds (the pre-stall).
If the disc is out-of-bounds, after twenty seconds elapse, a defensive player within three meters of the spot the disc is to be put into play may announce disc in, and then initiate and continue the stall count, but only if a defensive player has given audible warnings of twenty, ten and five seconds (the pre-stall).
If an offensive player unnecessarily delays putting the disc into play in violation of rule XIX.B, a defender within three meters of the spot the disc is to be put into play may issue a delay of game warning instead of calling a violation. If the behavior in violation of rule XIX.B is not immediately stopped, the marker may initiate and continue a stall count, regardless of the actions of the offense. In order to invoke this rule, after announcing delay of game, the marker must give the offense two seconds to react to the warning, and then announce disc in before initiating the stall count.
For a live disc to be put into play, the thrower must establish a pivot at the appropriate spot on the field, touch the disc to the ground, and put it into play.
Stalling: The period of time within which a thrower must release a throw may be timed by the stall count.
The stall count consists of announcing stalling and counting from one to ten loudly enough for the thrower to hear.
The interval between the first utterance of each number in the stall count must be at least one second.
Thus, a legal count from one to ten will take a minimum of 9 seconds. It is legal count at intervals greater than one second between numbers
All stall counts initiated, reinitiated or resumed after a stoppage of play must start with the word stalling.
If the count resets to one during a stoppage of play, it is considered a new count.
Only the marker (II.K) may initiate or continue a stall count, and may do so anytime a thrower has possession of a disc that is live or in play. However, directly after a turnover or when putting the pull into play the stall may not be initiated before a pivot is established, unless delay of game or pre-stall rules (XIII.A.3, XIII.A.4, XIII.A.5 or VI.B.5.d) apply.
If the thrower has not released the disc at the first utterance of the word ten, it is a turnover. The marker loudly announces stall and play stops. A stall is not a violation and rule XVI.C does not apply.
The marker calling the stall takes possession of the disc where the stall occurred and then may either:
place the disc on the ground and after acknowledgment by the defense, touch the disc and loudly announce in play or
retain possession and have the former thrower restart play with a check.
The thrower may contest a stall call in the belief that the disc was released before the first utterance of the word ten. If a stall is contested:
If the pass was complete, play stops and possession reverts to the thrower. After a check, the marker resumes the stall count at 8.
If the pass was incomplete, it is a turnover; play stops and resumes with a check.
If the defense switches markers, the new marker must reinitiate the stall count . A marker leaving the three-meter radius and returning is considered a new marker.
Reinitiate the stall count means to start over ("stalling one…").
If a stall count is interrupted by a call, the thrower and marker are responsible for agreeing on the correct count before the check. The count reached is the last number fully uttered by the marker before the call. The count is resumed with the word stalling followed by the number listed below:
Uncontested defensive foul or violation: 1
Uncontested offensive foul or violation: Count reached plus 1, or 9 if over 8
Contested foul or violation: Count reached plus 1, or 6 if over 5
Offsetting calls: Count reached plus 1, or 6 if over 5
Unresolved calls: Count reached plus 1, or 6 if over 5
Pick: Count reached plus 1, or 6 if over 5
Marking violation (no stoppage): Count reached minus 1, no stalling
First call: 8
Second and subsequent calls when due to a fast count: 6
Defensive technical time-out: Count reached plus 1, or 6 if over 5
Offensive technical time-out: Count reached plus 1, or 9 if over 8
Obstruction within 5 meters of playing field: Count reached plus 1, or 9 if over 8
If the marker does not say stalling to initiate or resume a stall count, counts at intervals of less than one second, or skips a number in the count , it is a fast count.
Skipping multiple numbers at once in the count is immediately callable as a general violation.
If a fast count occurs in such a manner that the thrower does not have a reasonable opportunity to call fast count before the first utterance of the word ten, the play is treated as a contested stall (XIV.A.3.b).
If this (XIV.B.1.b) occurs in the same possession following a contested stall (either due to XIV.B.1.a or XIV.A.3.b), the stall count resumes at six.
Double-team: If a defensive player other than the marker is within three meters of any pivot of the thrower without also being within three meters of and guarding (II.G) another offensive player, it is a double team. However, merely running across this area is not a double team .
"Merely running" means running for the exclusive purpose of reaching the other side. Running with an ulterior motive of interfering with the thrower in any way is not "merely running" and is a double team.
Disc-space: If a line between any two points on the marker touches the thrower or is less than one disc diameter away from the torso or pivot of the thrower, it is a disc space violation. However, if this situation is caused solely by movement of the thrower, it is not a violation.
Vision blocking: If the marker deliberately blocks the thrower's vision, it is a vision blocking violation.
Fast count, double team, disc space, and vision blocking are marking violations.
Only the thrower may call a marking violation, and to do so must call out the name of the specific marking violation.
When a marking violation is called, play does not stop. The violation must be corrected before the marker can resume the stall count with the number last uttered before the call minus one (e.g. stalling oneâ€¦two.. fast count ..oneâ€¦twoâ€¦). If the marker resumes the stall count before correcting a marking violation, it is another instance of the original marking violation, which may be called by the thrower.
When a marking violation is called, the marker should immediately stop counting. The marker should then correct the violation and resume the count at the appropriate number.
If a marker commits a marking violation after being called for a marking violation during the same stall count (XIV.A.1) but before the thrower is in the act of throwing, the thrower may choose to either call another marking violation or to treat the marking violation as a general defensive violation (XVI). To treat it as a general violation, the thrower must call violation.
A player may bobble the disc in order to gain control of it, but purposeful bobbling (including tipping, delaying, guiding, brushing or the like) to oneself in order to advance the disc in any direction from where it initially was contacted is considered traveling.
Tipping, brushing, etc. to someone else is legal. It is legal to tip/brush your own throw. However, if after a tip/brush, one is the first player to touch the disc, then it is deemed a tip/brush to oneself and it is a travel.Remember, you can bobble for the purpose of gaining control, so kicking the disc up to yourself to help catch it would be legal. But tipping the disc for the purpose of evading a defender would not be legal.
After catching a pass, a player is required to come to a stop as quickly as possible and establish a pivot.
If a player catches the disc while running or jumping the player may release a pass without attempting to stop and without setting a pivot, provided that:
the player does not change direction or increase speed while in possession of the disc; and
the pass is released before three additional points of contact with the ground are made after possession has been established.
If offensive and defensive players catch the disc simultaneously, the offense retains possession.
If it is unclear whether a catch was made before the disc contacted the ground (grass is considered part of the ground), or whether a player's first point of ground contact after catching the disc was in- or out-of-bounds or in or out of the end zone, the player with the best perspective makes the call.
Violations and Fouls
An infraction may only be called by a player on the infracted team who recognizes that it has occurred , unless specified differently elsewhere. The player must immediately call violation or the name of the specific infraction loudly.
The player must know that a specific rule was violated and have perceived the particular action with certainty. A player may not call an infraction whenever the player maybe recognizes that some infraction might have occurred.
A player called for an infraction may contest that call if that player believes the infraction did not occur .
This belief may be based on the player’s perspective on the particular sequence of events or based on a disagreement over the application of the rules, provided the player has read and understands the rules. For example, "No, I didn’t slap your hand" or "Tipping the disc to someone else is not a travel."
Any time an infraction is called, the continuation rule applies. Continuation Rule: Play stops when the thrower in possession acknowledges that an infraction has been called. If a call is made when the disc is in the air or the thrower is in the act of throwing, or if the thrower fails to acknowledge the call and subsequently attempts a pass, play continues until the outcome of that pass is determined. For the purpose of the continuation rule, an uncontested stall that occurs after another call is treated the same as an incomplete pass . Play then either stops or continues according to the following conditions:
This refers to the thrower who possesses the disc or has just released the disc at the time of the infraction/call. Who the thrower (II.T.5) is determined at the time of the infraction/call.Thus, if you get stalled before you acknowledge a call, it is treated the same as if you ignored the call and threw a turnover.
For calls made by the thrower:
If the infraction occurred before the thrower was in the act of throwing (II.T.3):
For example, there is no "free throw" if a thrower is fouled before beginning the throwing motion. Any completed pass will come back and any turnover will stand. Marking violations called by name are not addressed in the Continuation Rule because they do not stop play.
If the pass was incomplete, play continues un-halted. Players should announce play on.
If the pass was complete, play stops and possession reverts to the thrower.
If the infraction occurred while the thrower was in the act of throwing (II.T.3):
If the pass was complete, play continues un-halted. Players should announce play on.
If the pass was incomplete, play stops and possession reverts to the thrower.
If the infraction occurred after the throw was released, the call is considered to have been made by a non-thrower (XVI.C.2) .
This means that if you throw a turnover and call a foul on contact after the release, the turnover will generally stand. Note that the timing is based on when the infraction occurred for this rule.
For calls made by a non-thrower:
If the team that called the infraction has possession :
Determine which team has possession after the outcome of the play is decided, before resolving any calls.
If the offense called the infraction before the thrower began the act of throwing (II.T.3), play stops and possession reverts to the thrower .
If the throwing motion began after the call, any completion will return to the thrower. So if a handler calls a foul away from the play and the thrower then winds up and completes a pass, the disc will return to the thrower, whether the foul affected play or not. Note that the timing is based on when the infraction was called for this rule.
If the offense called the infraction after the thrower began the act of throwing or if the defense called the infraction, play continues un-halted . Players should announce play on.
There is no stoppage here! Continue playing and announce "play on" in this situation.
If the team that committed the infraction has possession:
If the infraction affected the play (XVI.C.3), play stops and the disc reverts to the thrower unless the specific rule says otherwise.
If the infraction did not affect the play, play stops and the result of the play stands.
An infraction affected the play if an infracted player determines that the outcome of the specific play (from the time of the infraction until play stops) may have been meaningfully different absent the infraction . (For example, if a receiver is fouled and thereby prevented from getting open for a pass, the play was affected; however, if the receiver would not have received a pass even without the foul, the play was not affected.)
It is the infracted player’s responsibility to announce if play was affected. For example, if a defender calls "pick" while trailing a receiver by 6 feet, the defender should indicate whether the pick affected the play. If the pick did not affect the play, the defender will still recover any distance lost, but the completed pass will stand. If the pick did affect the play, the disc reverts to the thrower.Contact that occurs after the outcome of the play is determined cannot affect the play. For example, if a defender catches a disc before bumping into the receiver and knocking him over, that contact did not affect the play and the turnover will stand.
Positioning after a call:
If no pass is thrown or attempted before the thrower stops play by acknowledging the call, all players return to the locations they occupied when the call was made.
If a pass is thrown or attempted before the thrower acknowledges the call or the call is made after the throwing attempt, and
if possession reverts to the thrower, all players return to the locations they occupied at the earlier of :
Therefore, if a long pass is thrown and there is a contested receiving foul, the players will return where they were at the time of the throw (rather than remaining downfield after chasing down the disc).
the time of the throw,
the time of the call.
if the result of a play stands, players return to the locations they occupied when play stopped.
After a travel call, the thrower must return to the location occupied at the time of the infraction.
If a dispute arises concerning an infraction or the outcome of a play (e.g., a catch where no one had a good perspective), and the teams cannot come to a satisfactory resolution, play stops, and the disc is returned to the thrower and put into play with a check (VIII.D), with the count reached plus one or at six if over five.
Any player may stop a rolling or sliding disc, but advancing it in any direction is a violation.
If an infraction results in possession reverting to a thrower who was airborne when releasing the disc , play restarts at the spot on the playing field closest to the point of release.
This applies to throwers attempting a "greatest" or any other airborne thrower.
If offensive and defensive players call offsetting infractions on the same play, the disc is returned to the thrower and put into play with a check, with the count reached plus one or at six if over five.
Fouls (II.E): It is the responsibility of all players to avoid contact in every way possible .
Avoid contact in every way reasonable possible, while still playing Ultimate. Some contact is inevitable, but players have an affirmative obligation to make reasonable efforts to avoid contact.
A foul can be called only by the fouled player and must be announced by loudly calling foul immediately after it occurs.
Contact resulting from adjacent opposing players simultaneously vying for the same unoccupied position, is not in itself a foul.
Some fouls carry some extra provisions, as listed below.
A throwing foul may be called when there is non-incidental contact between the thrower and marker . The disc in a thrower's possession is considered part of the thrower.
Nearly every instance of contact between the thrower and marker will be non-incidental with respect to the thrower, whether it disrupts the thrower’s concentration, interferes with the thrower’s movement, disturbs the thrower's grip, interferes with a throw, or affects continued play in any other way.
In general, any contact between the thrower and the extended (i.e., away from the midline of the body) arms or legs of a marker is a foul on the marker, unless the contacted area of the marker is completely stationary and in a legal position.
Really completely stationary. This is very rare.
Any contact that occurs due to the marker setting up in an illegal position (XIV.B.3) is a foul on the marker. Once the marker has set up in a legal marking position, it is the responsibility of both players to respect this legal position. However, contact resulting from the thrower and the marker both vying for the same unoccupied position is a foul on the marker.
Non-incidental contact. Again, nearly all contact will be non-incidental with respect to the thrower.This contact must be part of an ultimate-related maneuver (throwing, pivoting, etc.) and must occur with a part of the marker that is illegally positioned. For example, shoving the marker does not result in contact due to the marker setting up an illegal position. Similarly, if a marker is providing disc space, except for illegally wrapping the thrower with his arms, only contact with the illegally positioned arms is due to the marker setting up an illegal position.
Any contact initiated by a thrower with the body (excluding arms and legs extended from the midline of the body) of a legally positioned (XIV.B.3) marker is a foul on the thrower.
Non-incidental contact. The effect of the contact on the marker is important here, as many, but not all, instances of contact will affect continued play with respect to the marker.
Although it should be avoided whenever possible, incidental contact occurring during the follow-through (after the disc is released) is not a foul .
Remember, even if the contact were non-incidental, because it occurred after the throw was released, it cannot be deemed to have affected the specific play, and a turnover will stand.
Any references above to a marker also apply to any defensive player within three meters of the thrower's pivot.
If a player contacts an opponent while the disc is in the air and thereby interferes with that opponent's attempt to make a play on the disc , that player has committed a receiving foul. Some amount of incidental contact before, during, or immediately after the attempt often is unavoidable and is not a foul.
The opponent must at least begin an attempt to make a play on the disc. The opponent’s "attempt to make a play on the disc" includes any second efforts after a disc is tipped, if the disc has not become uncatchable.Incidental contact, by definition, is not a foul.
If XVI.C.2.b.1 of the continuation rule applies: if the call is uncontested, the fouled player gains possession at the spot on the playing field closest to the spot of the infraction. If the foul is contested, the disc reverts to the thrower.
The Principle of Verticality: All players have the right to enter the air space immediately above their torso to make a play on a thrown disc. If non-incidental contact occurs in the airspace immediately above a player before the outcome of the play is determined (e.g., before possession is gained or an incomplete pass is effected), it is a foul on the player entering the vertical space of the other player .
If the disc is caught (or rendered uncatchable) before contact occurs, then the outcome of the play is determined already and the contact is not an infraction of this rule.
Force-out Foul: If an airborne player catches the disc and is contacted by an opposing player before landing, and that contact causes the player to land out-of-bounds instead of in-bounds, or out of the end zone instead of in the end zone, it is a foul on the opposing player and the fouled player retains possession at the spot of the foul. If an uncontested force-out foul results in an in-bounds player landing outside the end zone being attacked when they would have landed in the end zone without the foul, a goal is awarded.
When the disc is in the air a player may not move in a manner solely to prevent an opponent from taking an unoccupied path to the disc and any resulting non-incidental contact is a foul on the blocking player which is treated like a receiving foul (XVI.H.3.b).
Solely. The intent of the player’s movement can be partly motivated to prevent an opponent from taking an unoccupied path to the disc, so long as it is part of a general effort to make a play on the disc. Note, if a trailing player runs into a player in front of him, it is nearly always a foul on the trailing player.
A player may not take a position that is unavoidable by a moving opponent when time, distance, and line of sight are considered. Non-incidental contact resulting from taking such a position is a foul on the blocking player.
If you are already in a position, you maintaining that position is not "taking a position."
Strip: If a defensive player initiates contact with the disc after an offensive player has gained possession of the disc, and the offensive player loses possession as a result, it is a strip. A strip is a subset of fouls and is treated the same way.
Reckless disregard for the safety of fellow players or other dangerously aggressive behavior (such as significantly colliding into a stationary opponent), regardless of whether or when the disc arrives or when contact occurs is considered dangerous play and is treated as a foul . This rule is not superseded by any other rule.
If no contact occurs, there is no callable dangerous play. Contact need not be severe.The proper call in this case is "Dangerous Play." The caller should then briefly explain the grounds for the call. This call trumps any foul rules and should be used in situations where the play presented serious risk of injury.
A pick occurs whenever an offensive player moves in a manner that causes a defensive player guarding (II.G) an offensive player to be obstructed by another player. Obstruction may result from contact with, or the need to avoid, the obstructing player.
A pick can be called only by the obstructed player and must be announced by loudly calling pick immediately after it occurs.
Call the pick immediately. If you wait too long, you lose your window of opportunity to make the call.
If play stops according to XVI.C, players reposition according to XVI.C.4 . In addition, the obstructed player is then allowed to move to recover the relative position lost because of the pick .
So if the disc is returned to the thrower, everyone resumes the locations they occupied at the earlier of the time of the throw or the time of the call.Then the picked defender catches up the relative position lost because of the pick. If he was trailing by 9 feet, then he gets to catch back up to 9 feet away, but does not get to set up right next to the offensive player.
Traveling: The thrower must establish a pivot at the appropriate spot on the field and keep all or part of the pivot in contact with that spot until the throw is released. Failure to do so is a travel and results in a stoppage of play and a check .
Results in a stoppage of play and a check only if the travel is called.
In addition, each of the following is a travel:
A player catches the disc and either speeds up, changes direction or does not stop as quickly as possible before establishing a pivot (XV.B).
A player receives a pass while running or jumping, and releases a pass after the third ground contact and before establishing a pivot (XV.C).
Purposeful bobbling (including tipping, delaying, guiding, brushing, or the like) to oneself in order to advance the disc in any direction from where it initially was contacted (XV.A).
The thrower fails to touch the disc to the ground when required (XIII.B).
If a non-standing player loses contact with the pivot spot in order to stand up, it is not a travel, provided the new pivot is established at the same location.
It is not a travel if a player catches the disc and releases a pass before the third ground contact (XV.C).
If play stops, the thrower may reset the pivot.
A player's ability to catch or make a play on the disc is not considered to be affected because that player stopped, slowed down, or otherwise ceased to continue playing because a call was made by another player. Players are encouraged to make every effort to continue playing until play actually stops .
When player determines whether an infraction affected the play ( XVI.C.3), this is very important to recognize.
Each player is entitled to occupy any position on the field not occupied by an opposing player, unless specifically overridden elsewhere, provided that no personal contact is caused in taking such a position.
A player who jumps is entitled to land at the take-off spot without hindrance by opponents. That player also is entitled to land at another spot, provided that the landing spot, and the direct path between the take-off and landing spots, were not already occupied at the time of take-off .
This does not trump a player’s responsibility to make reasonable efforts to avoid contact and to not commit a blocking foul. If you commit a blocking foul, the fact that you jumped to the spot instead of running does not negate the foul.
Observers may be used if desired by the captains or the event organizer. Observers are non-players whose role is to carefully watch the action of the game.
Observers may perform any or all of the following duties:
Track time limits and announce associated warnings and expirations.
Resolve player disputes.
Any player directly involved in a dispute may request observer resolution.
An Observer may resolve a dispute without request from the players involved if they cannot resolve it in a timely manner.
If an Observer is involved in resolving a dispute, play restarts with a check.
Censure or eject players for sportsmanship infractions. This includes assigning responsibility for game delays to a specific player.
Render opinions on other on-field events (e.g., line and off-side calls), as determined in advance by the event organizer.
By playing under Observers, the players agree to abide by the observers' decisions.
If an infraction is committed and not called, the player committing the infraction should inform the infracted player or team of the infraction.
It is the responsibility of all players to avoid any delay when starting, restarting, or continuing play. This includes standing over the disc or taking more time than reasonably necessary to put the disc into play .
This includes standing back from the disc, wandering around to gain more time, etc. Pretending not to delay while delaying is still delaying.
On a stoppage of play, if it is ever unclear which of a team's members are the current players or where they are on or off the field, they should identify themselves when the opposing team requests.
If a dispute arises on the field, play stops and is restarted with a check when the matter is resolved.
If a novice player commits an infraction out of sincere ignorance of the rules, it should be common practice to stop play and explain the infraction.
When a call is made, throwers must stop play by visibly or audibly communicating the stoppage as soon as they are aware of the call and all players should echo calls on the field.
If the marker has made reasonable efforts to notify the thrower of a call and believes that the thrower has not stopped play promptly enough, the marker may call a violation under this rule and a completed pass will come back to the thrower (XVI.C.2.b.1).
In addition to the assumption that players will not intentionally violate the rules, players are similarly expected to make every effort to avoid violating them.